CHILDREN, MUSIC THROUGH HEADPHONES, AND HEARING LOSS

Many headphones marketed towards children highlight their safe hearing levels. Volume controls limiting audio intensity – anything above 85 dB is “blocked off” – are built in to avoid prolonged exposure to dangerous levels of sound. But Noisyplanet.gov asks, “Do their safety claims hold up?”

In a lot of cases, the sound emitted from earphones are dependent on not only the earphones themselves, but the device they’re being used with and the music they’re being asked to play. Unfortunately, many consumer devices were found to “bypass” the headphones’s restrictions. “Up to one-third of the headphones tested allowed volumes that exceeded 85 decibels,” concluded Noisy Planet.

That’s not to say these headphones shouldn’t be used. Some restrictions are better than none. But one should always research the product they’re planning to buy. More importantly, parents should also be prepared to monitor their children’s listening habits. It’s never too early to teach good hearing.

The louder something is, the greater the chance it can cause hearing loss. You add length of time into the equation, and you could have a potentially dangerous issue on your hands. Noise induced hearing loss can happen to anyone, and it happens in children and young adults frequently because of exposure to harmful levels of music.

A few tips to help prevent hearing loss in children via headphones include:

1. Don’t listen above 80 percent of the maximum volume, despite whatever claims your headphones makes. Some say 60 percent max is even better.
2. While listening to music, you should still be able to hear someone about an arm’s length away ask a question.
3. Limit your time. Or take a break at least every hour.

Widex also has a helpful blog on what type of headphones are the best: open, closed, or in ear.

Headphones are great. We all love them. Just be sure to talk to your kids about using them responsibly.